How the COVID-19 Pandemic Shocked Demand and Supply for Retailers

The COVID-19 virus has greatly changed the landscape of commerce today. The sudden changes in consumer spending, rise in unemployment and labor and material shortages created demand and supply shock that required retailers to rapidly adapt. In the current economic situation, it’s crucial to understand how the coronavirus impacts your business so you can respond strategically.

How the COVID-19 Virus Grows Retail Shock

When the coronavirus began to spread globally, mandated stay-at-home orders meant that brick-and-mortar businesses closed and consumers avoided going out. Stores unable to provide certain services and products created supply shock, while consumers stocking up on nondiscretionary goods and hesitating to buy discretionary products created demand shock. 

This led to a dramatic shift in how businesses approach inventory management. Some goods that were readily available before are now in high demand and low stock, while other products and services that many customers were using are now in low demand. 

What Retail Demand Shock Means for Businesses

The COVID-19 virus’s retail demand shock has left many retailers struggling to adapt as they balance customers’ changing needs with new shortages and delays. Although the industry underwent fluctuations, retail experienced slightly positive demand shock along with negative supply shock. With many consumers buying more staple items while avoiding nonessential products and services, many retailers still face diverse challenges, such as:

  • Labor shortages. Due to ill and quarantined employees, many businesses don’t have enough people to complete tasks.
  • Raw materials and supply shortages. From shipping delays to labor shortages, economic shock means that it’s hard to get the supplies retailers need.
  • Technology capability gaps. Many businesses don’t have the technological capacity to handle an influx of online orders and changing inventory needs.

Because of the unique challenges of this time, tracking inventory and keeping up with demand are important. Businesses must ensure optimal strategies for inventory management so they can handle the major transition from in-store to online delivery and pickup orders. Companies also have to plan ahead to maintain adequate stock and tight control of total inventory.

Mitigate Supply and Demand Shock With Finale Inventory

During this challenging time, Finale Inventory is ready to help your retail business grow and succeed. We offer diverse benefits and integrations for growing businesses, including:

Let Finale Inventory Help Your Business Succeed

At Finale Inventory, we have the tools, integrations and platforms you need to successfully manage your inventory during the COVID-19 virus’s retail demand. Reach out to us today to get a free trial or request a live demo.